Brazil’s Trade Surplus Jumps to US$ 14 Billion

Latin American stocks moved in various directions, with Brazil feeling some pressure, while Mexico and Argentina moved higher on the session.

Mexican stocks followed U.S. markets higher and reached their highest level in more than two months. Meanwhile, Argentine volume remained light ahead of the government’s highly anticipated debt restructuring.


Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa Index receded 307.52 points, or 1.25%, while Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa Index advanced 146.12 points, or 1.13 %. Argentina’s Merval Index rose 14.55 points, or 1.01%.


Brazilian shares continued their negative pattern from last week. Still, a domestic central bank survey indicated that economists expect domestic inflation to stabilize.


According to the weekly poll, economists expect the consumer price index, or the IPCA, to rise 6.38% in 2005, compared to the 6.39% advance predicted in last week’s reading.


Also, the Trade and Development Ministry reported that Brazil posted a trade surplus of US$ 943 million in the third week of May, boosting the trade surplus to US$ 14.53 billion this year.


Turning to corporate reports, state-run oil firm Petrobras said that it will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Japanese trading firms. The agreement will help financially support several of Petrobras’ projects in Brazil.


Mexican issues were higher, as strength in the market of its key trading partner, the U.S., boosted domestic shares. The Finance Ministry reported that the country’s trade deficit widened to a larger-than-expected US$ 629 million in April from US$ 181 million in March.


Still, the most recent result was down from the US$ 710 million deficit posted in April 2004.  An increase in commerce after the Easter holidays was credited for the wider April deficit.


In corporate reports, broadcaster Grupo Televisa advanced, after the firm priced US$ 200 million of debt, after reopening a US$ 400 million 20-year bond issue.


Cement maker Cemex SA is set to sell its minority stake in Indonesia’s PT Semen Gresik, according to Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs.


Argentine issues advanced amid a stronger-than-expected surplus reading last month. Still, trading continues to be subdued ahead of the government’s planned US$ 103 billion debt restructuring.


Argentina’s primary fiscal surplus for April arrived at 2.244 billion pesos and totaled 6.482 billion pesos for the first four months of 2005, according to an Economy Ministry report.


In other economic reports, Indec reported final figures for April’s industrial production, showing a 10.2% leap last month, compared to the corresponding period a year earlier. April’s figure slipped 0.4% from March.


Thomson Financial Corporate Group
www.thomsonfinancial.com


PRNewswire

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